WARSAW — With all Indiana schools now remaining closed until May 1 by order of Gov. Eric Holcomb, several Kosciusko County school corporations, including Warsaw Community Schools, are using school buses as temporary WiFi hotspots.
On WCS eLearning days (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), bus drivers travel to 19 locations for Warsaw students to provide free WiFi between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The buses are at several large residential areas within Warsaw, Winona Lake, Pierceton, Claypool and Silver Lake.
Bernie Waikel has worked as a Warsaw Schools bus driver for more than 25 years and said she is grateful that a plan has been implemented for student WiFi access. On Friday, Waikel was stationed with a bus at Pike Lake Point Apartments, along with a container of snacks and games for students to enjoy once they completed their work.
“I’m really missing my kids and miss seeing them,” said Waikel. “But this is all about helping our kids and supporting the community.”
A bus driver stationed at Green Acres Mobile Home Park who declined to give her name, said she is accustomed to seeing children in the area playing outside every day.
“You have to applaud the parents for supervising their kids through this,” she said. “This is also a good way for us to keep an eye on the kids, too.”
Students can also access free WiFi at all Warsaw Community Schools, as well as several area businesses and churches.
Here is a full list of locations offering free Internet WiFi access to Warsaw Community Schools’ students:
Schools, Businesses and Churches
All Warsaw Community Schools
- Free Internet WiFi bubble extends into the parking lot.
Warsaw Community Public Library
- 310 E. Main St., Warsaw. Free Internet WiFi bubble extends into the parking lot.
Warsaw Family Eyecare
- 2250 N. Pointe Drive, Warsaw. Business partner offering free WiFi access to students.
Super Geeks and Gaming
- 322 N. Detroit St., Warsaw. Business partner offering free WiFi access to students.
Warsaw Community Church
- 1855 S. County Farm Road, Warsaw. Faith-based partner offering free WiFi access to students
Winona Lake Grace Brethren
- 1200 Kings Highway, Winona Lake. Faith-based partner offering free WiFi access to students.
First Christian Church of Warsaw
- 115 Park Ridge Drive, Warsaw. Faith-based partner offering free WiFi access to students.
New Life Christian Church
- 744 S. CR 325E, Warsaw. Faith-based partner offering free Wifi access to students.
- 111 Capital Drive, Warsaw. Community partner offering free WiFi access to students. (Network name: KOSCVB; Password: Koscvb2015)
Kosciusko County Courthouse
- 100 W. Center St., Warsaw. Community partner offering free WiFi access to students. (Network name: KCGPUB.)
All of the following residential areas will have a school bus with a WiFi bubble from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on eLearning days (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.)
- Hideaway Hills, 2441 W. CR 250S, Warsaw
- Forest Park, 3300 E. Colony Road, Warsaw
- Suburban Acres, 3699 N. CR 175E, Warsaw
- Whispering Pines, 340 E. Levi Lee Road, Warsaw
- Westhaven Estates, 3762 W. Old Road 30, Warsaw
- Shamrock, 920 Anchorage Road, Warsaw
- Green Acres, 1692 E. CR 200N, Warsaw
- The Village Park, 3750 Lake City Highway, Warsaw
- Timber Creek, 779 S. Warbler Lane, Warsaw
- Valley Forge, 3100 Frontage Road, Warsaw
- Heron Preserve, 1101 Heron Blvd., Warsaw
- Canterbury, 100 St. Augustine Drive, Warsaw
- Kuder Estates, 5000 Kuder Lane, Warsaw
- Eastgate, 547 Clinic Court, Warsaw
- Pike Lake Point Apartments, 1064 N. Park Ave., Warsaw
- Merrywood, 3104 Wooster Road, Pierceton
- Fairlane, 1202 Wooster Road, Winona Lake
- Graceland, Claypool
- Shamrock, Silver Lake
“The older kids, they were born in the 9/11 era,” said the bus driver stationed at Green Acres. “And now they’re graduating with this. There are a lot of people at the schools who care about what happens to all of these kids. It’s a big adjustment for everyone, but we’re doing our best to put buses where they are really needed and where the highest traffic is.”